ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — To understand how Andrew Bourelle organizes his life, it would help to divide by three.
Bourelle is a family man; he is married and the father of two young children.
He is an assistant professor of English at the University of New Mexico, where he teaches creative writing, composition, rhetoric and technical communication.
And Bourelle is a writer of fiction.
He has written short stories, and he penned the award-winning 2017 coming-of-age novel “Heavy Metal” and co-wrote the Western thriller “Texas Ranger.” The thriller’s other author is none other than James Patterson, often called the world’s best-selling writer.
Bourelle’s first major literary success came when Patterson chose Bourelle’s story of revenge “Cowboy Justice” for inclusion in “The Best American Mystery Stories – 2015.” Patterson guest-edited the anthology.
“That’s when things started to heat up for my writing career,” Bourelle said. “It’s been a pretty eventful few years.”
On the heels of “Cowboy Justice,” Bourelle was invited by Patterson to co-write with him the novella ‘The Pretender.” That led to their collaborating on “Texas Ranger.”
“It was a blast,” Bourelle said. “It’s not something I ever dreamed would happen to me. It was fun to work with him and learn from him. He knows how to build suspense and keep readers turning pages.”
Another Bourelle piece, “Y is for Yangchuan Lizard,” was chosen for “The Best American Mystery Stories – 2018.” The piece, about a drug supposedly made from the bones of a Yangchuanosaurus, was originally published in the Rhonda Parrish-edited anthology “D Is for Dinosaur.” Bourelle said the prehistoric lizard was apparently similar to an allosaurus and smaller and not as ferocious as a Tyrranosaurus rex.
The prestigious “Best American Mystery Stories” anthology, now in its 22nd year, contains short fiction of some of the top writers of the United States and Canada. The 2018 edition includes stories by T.C. Boyle, Lee Child, Michael Connelly and Joyce Carol Oates.
Bourelle is now developing a mystery novel on his own. “I have a full draft of it that doesn’t necessarily mean the end is near,” he said.
“In 2019, I hope to do one more round of revisions for it.”
This spring at UNM, he is teaching a graduate creative writing course in writing mysteries.
Bourelle said that for the class, he probably will select stories from the “Best American” series. “I’ll pick and choose from all of those years and the authors in them, plus literary writers who write crime stories. And I’ll have students try their hand at writing mystery stories,” he said.